Snacks / Appetizers

Salad Of Endive & Chili Chicken

 

Salad Of Endive & Chili Chicken

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This was such a pleasant salad to enjoy early in the day.
The colors, flavors and lightness of its ingredients brightened the rest of my day and gave me a wonderful, guilt-free lunch. (I am still working on losing some of the many pounds I added while in Argentina.
So far it’s going well, 13 lbs in about one month, while always eating good and plenty. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Salad  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Chicken  on  ChefsOpinion
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Salad Of Endive & Chili Chicken

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Salad Of Endive & Chili Chicken

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Salad Of Endive & Chili Chicken

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Salad Of Endive & Chili Chicken

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for 
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Congee With Mushroom, Carrot & Egg

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Congee With Mushroom, Carrot & Egg

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“Congee With Mushrooms, Carrots & Egg (Chinese Rice porridge)
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Excerpt from a previous post of  Congee  on ChefsOpinion :
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” Rice Porridge –
The first thing that comes to mind is probably baby food or hospital gruff.
Most folks would never think of ordering it from a menu in a restaurant, much less wake up and crave it for breakfast, if they hadn’t tasted or at least seen it before.

Now, let’s try again :
Congee. Lúgaw. Chok. Xifan. Juk. Okayu.
OK now, that’s better  🙂

Sounds more interesting and exotic? These are just a few names given to rice porridge around the world. If there is a country or region which traditionally eats rice, then there is some form of rice porridge eaten.
Congee can be enjoyed as breakfast, snack, lunch or dinner. Congee most often contains rice, but other grains can be used.
Ideally, it is made with strong, tasty stock that infuses great taste and debt into the dish. But from there on, let your fantasy run wild. Congee can be made with seafood, meat, vegetables or a combination thereof.
Then there are the toppings – Pickled vegetables, fried shallots, sliced scallions, any mushroom, crisp fried garlic, dried shrimps, 100-year eggs, cilantro, etc, etc.
If you like it, put it on.
Below is a version I made on Sunday for breakfast. The texture is more like a Filipino Lugaw, with the rice VERY soft but still keeping its shape. .
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for  Congee With Smoked Pigs Tails & Vegetables  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here to read all about  Congee
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Congee With Mushrooms, Carrot & Egg

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Congee With Mushrooms, Carrot & Egg

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Congee With Mushrooms, Carrot & Egg

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Congee With Mushrooms, Carrot & Egg

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Cantonese Soy Sauce Chicken ( See Yao Gai ) ( 酱油鸡 )

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Cantonese Soy Sauce Chicken ( See Yao Gai ) ( 酱油鸡 )

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If roast chicken is your favorite chicken dish, it’s probably because you never had the opportunity to taste this marvel of Chinese cuisine. Even if you did taste it, you most likely thought that this is way too complicated and difficult to prepare at home.
Well, here comes ChefsOpinion to the rescue 🙂
I am happy to give you all the info you’ll need to prepare this wonderful, actually simple to prepare, flavor-bomb at home.
Once you see the easy step by step instructions and how few ingredients are required, you will surely ask yourself why you’ve never tried your hands at this before. Enjoy ! 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Chicken  on  ChefsOpinion
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Cantonese Soy Sauce Chicken ( See Yao Gai ) ( 酱油鸡 )

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Cantonese Soy Sauce Chicken ( See Yao Gai ) ( 酱油鸡 )

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Cantonese Soy Sauce Chicken ( See Yao Gai ) ( 酱油鸡 )

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Cantonese Soy Sauce Chicken ( See Yao Gai ) ( 酱油鸡 )

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note the juiciness of the chicken breast ……..

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Here is what I did the next day with the leftover chicken and sauce :
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Leftover Soy Chicken

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Snails And Gnocchi In White Wine, Pernod & Mustard Cream

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Snails And Gnocchi In White Wine, Pernod & Mustard Cream

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Snails and Gnocchi, what a wonderful combination.
Add Pernod Ricard, wine, and whole grain mustard, and you have a heavenly dish that is super easy to prepare, looks like a million and tastes like 2 million 🙂
I have created this dish decades ago, and have served it in many restaurants around the World since.
Good, simple food never get’s old 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Gnocchi Recipe:
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Ingredients:
1 lb Russet potatoes,   cooked, peeled, mashed
A/P flour,   sifted – as needed
2 Eggs,  whole, whisked
Kosher salt, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 0z Butter
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Method:
Add eggs, seasoning and flour to potatoes, mix lightly until smooth.
Shape into gnocchi.
Make light indentations with a fork.
Cook a sample in simmering salted water. If too soft, add flour. If too dense, add egg.
Cook gnocchi in simmering water until gnocchi float. Remove with slotted spoon into a strainer. Saute in melted butter.
Serves four.
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Click here for more  Gnocchi  on  ChefsOpinion
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P.S.
If you are squirmish about snails, replace them with large scallops. This will give you a different, but equally wonderful dish 🙂
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Snails And Gnocchi In White Wine, Pernod & Mustard Cream

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Snails And Gnocchi In White Wine, Pernod & Mustard Cream

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Snails And Gnocchi In White Wine, Pernod & Mustard Cream

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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See you again in 2018……….

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Dear Friends,
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.I am spending the next three weeks in Argentina, visiting friends, eating (mostly) parilla and drinking (mostly) red wine.
Since I am living with friends who keep me busy 24/7 🙂 , I will not post my usual three or four posts per week during this time.
However, I have a surplus of about 50 dishes/post’s I have cooked and photographed in the past few months, which I will post as soon as I’ll return to Florida in mid- January, together with the new stuff I’ll produce when I will be back in my own kitchen.
Until then, here is a preview of a small selection of dishes waiting to be published. Hope to see you all again in 2018 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Braised Shrimp, Leek, Corn And Chillies

Braised Shrimp, Leek, Corn And Chillies

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Stock-braised or cream-braised leek are traditional recipes which, in my opinion, deserve to be revived to show up more often on our dining tables. 🙂
They can be simple comfort food, as well as elegant, scrumptious side dishes which are ideal to be served with most grilled or sautéed proteins.
In this featured dish, I have transformed simple cream-braised leek into a rich, delicious and beautiful meal by adding kernel corn and fresh shrimp.
The result turned out to be super yummy and a snap to prepare, suited for both a rich appetizer or a festive main course 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
As usual, use the largest shrimp you can afford and the hottest chilies you can stomach (Anywhere from sweet to very hot).
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Click here for more  Shrimp  on  ChefsOpinion
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Braised Shrimp, Leek, Corn And Chillies

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Braised Shrimp, Leek, Corn And Chilies

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Braised Shrimp, Leek, Corn And Chillies

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Braised Leeks, Corn And Chillies

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almost there………..

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Fried Camembert With Avocado Salad, Salsa Verde, And Crisp Romaine Leaves

Fried Camembert With Avocado Salad, Salsa Verde, And Crisp Romaine Leaves

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Seems like everybody loves fried camembert, yet few folks actually prepare it at home. Which is a mystery to me, since it is really quick and easy to prepare and it is versatile – it can be served as an appetizer, a main course or as a snack. Best of all, it is very economical. (After all, I am a poor retiree 😦  ).
In olden times, we used just one coat of simple breading. However, nowadays I like to use panko crumbs, which requires double breading. The texture is of course very different so you might want to experiment which one of the two versions you prefer. They are both great, it’s just a matter of personal preference.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Salad  on  ChefsOpinion
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Fried Camembert With Avocado Salad, Salsa Verde, And Crisp Romaine Leaves

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Fried Camembert With Avocado Salad, Salsa Verde, And Crisp Romaine Leaves

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Fried Camembert With Avocado Salad, Salsa Verde, And Crisp Romaine Leaves

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Fried Camembert With Avocado Salad, Salsa Verde, And Crisp Romaine Leaves

 

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Fried Camembert With Avocado Salad, Salsa Verde, And Crisp Romaine Leaves

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Vol Au Vent Aux Blancs De Poulet

Vol Au Vent Aux Blancs De Poulet

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About a week ago I read in a “respected” magazine that one should NEVER eat Sauce Hollandaise or one of its derivatives in a restaurant because hollandaise is NEVER made fresh to order, but rather before the service and then kept warm during the whole service.
What a load of crap !!! 😦
Admittedly, some restaurants may do this, but many restaurants who have one or two dishes with hollandaise on the menu will not waste the ingredients if there is no order for a particular service. It takes a professional cook or chef maybe 1 or 2 minutes to produce 2 portions of fresh hollandaise, so to do it “a la minute” (to order) is no problem at all.
When I was an apprentice and later as a young cook, we ALWAYS made hollandaise a la minute during a la carte service.
– The moral of this? always double-check before you take a story/advise for granted. 🙂
– Also, hollandaise is one of the easiest and quickest sauces to prepare.
– Have I mentioned that Sauce Hollandaise is one of the French mother sauces?
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When I prepare a whole roasted whole chicken for Bella and myself, I usually eat both tights and all the scraps from the bones, including the neck, wings, and back, while Madam enjoys the two breasts (one per day). However, yesterday she kept begging for food while the chicken was still a while before being done, so I gave her a full portion of her own food (usually she gets only half that amount because she’ll eat some of my food later).
After I ate my usual part of the chicken, I removed all the skin and bones from the breasts, submerged it in salted water and kept it in the fridge until today, when I used it to prepare this Vol Au Vent Aux Blancs De Poulet.
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P.S.
Please note that both mushrooms and sauce hollandaise are optional in this classic dish.
P.P.S.
Nowadays, in most commercial venues, because of safety issues, hollandaise is made from powder or ready-made from a can, which eliminates the danger of eggs served at unsafe temperatures.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Vol Au Vent Aux Blancs De Poulet

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Vol Au Vent Aux Blancs De Poulet

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Vol Au Vent Aux Blancs De Poulet

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen (Swabian Onion Tart/Pie/Cake)

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Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen is usually eaten in late Summer and early Fall, typically served with new wine, but fans (there are legions of them, including myself), will eat it year-round. As with any “traditional/classic” dish which is mostly prepared at home, there are many variations, most of them excellent. After all, it is pretty hard to screw up a simple dish like this, consisting of just a few basic ingredients –
Yeast Dough, (or shortcrust)
Creme Fraiche, (or, in a pinch, sour cream, which makes it slightly more tart)
Onions, sautéed, diced, (or sliced), anywhere from just transparent to caramelized
Bacon, (or not)
Chives (or not)
Caraway Seeds, (or not)
Eggs,
Salt & Pepper,
Round Pie Pan (or square or rectangular)
Deep Dish Springform (or large flat sheet pan) – because of the different heights, the ratio of onions to cream mixture also varies greatly.

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I grew up eating Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen all the time, but even in the area where I lived, cooks (mostly housewives), were very flexible which the variation they would use.
The only exception was the Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen from the time I was but a small child until I was about 7 years old, after which time the village communal oven was not used anymore. Up ’til I was about 7 years old, we still had a communal oven in the village bakery, everybody followed the same regional, well-established recipe. During that time, most farmers wife’s baked huge sheet pan’s of Zwiebelkuchen in the communal oven (as well as the bread for the following week).
Because there where no refrigerators in farmers homes at that time, a good part of the Zwiebelkuchen was shared with friends and neighbors, so that nothing was wasted. This is how I got my first taste of Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen, since my Mom was a city girl and was not fond of cooking, baking or any other domestic chores. when I was about five, my family moved from a large City (Stuttgart) to the small Village of Gechingen, where my father inherited his childhood home from my grandparents, who, like their parents and their parents and their parents……… were farmers. Growing up in a rural environment was in part very great, and in another part very bad for a city boy. I never got used to some of the customs, way’s and restrictions the small-village life provided us with. (One of the biggest reasons why I left home to start an apprenticeship as cook before I was 14 years old)
But, all the food from this time, including Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen, became highly regarded favorites as I got older. To this day, I seek those dishes wherever I go. Sadly, most everywhere, many of these items are not valued anymore and have gone the way of so many old-fashioned things – they have just disappeared. Good food, dood customs, good manners and so many other good things we used to respect, love nurture and appreciate in the past are just gone. Those of us who still (or just newly, in some cases) are fond of the time-proven pillars of “the good old times”, can only hope that “old is new again” will one day soon again apply to most of the beloved standards of our past 🙂
Until then, when I crave Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen, I have to prepare it myself.
And now, don’t get me going about old-fashioned manners, customs, and decent behavior…….
Bit of a nostalgic, old farts rant there, but I feel better now 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  “Schwäbische Dishes”  on  ChefsOpinion
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Zwiebelkuchen Dough:
Use your favorite shortcrust dough or yeast dough.
Substitute with pre-made shortcrust dough, pizza dough, pre-baked Quiche crust or pre-baked pizza crust. I suggest you experiment until you find your favorite. It’s well worth the extra effort 🙂
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Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen (Swabian Onion Tart/Pie/Cake)

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Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen (Swabian Onion Tart/Pie/Cake)

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Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen (Swabian Onion Tart/Pie/Cake)

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Schwäbischer Zwiebelkuchen (Swabian Onion Tart/Pie/Cake)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Escargots A La Bourguignonne (Snails In Garlic-Herb Butter In The Style Of The Bourguignon)

Escargots A La Bourguignonne (Snails In Garlic-Herb Butter In The Style Of The Bourguignon)

Remembering  the “Good Old Times”, when I went to Germany I was looking forward to enjoy escargot as often as possible, since in the not so distant past, escargot was one of the dishes which one could find on the dinner menu of most restaurants, usually prepared “A La Bourguignonne” and served in their own shells, but also frequently as soup or in puff pastry.
I was disappointed to find that escargots have mostly gone the way of so many other delicacies ( Tortue “Lady Curzon,  Foie Gras, Duck a la PresseTurtle Steaks, Turtle Stews, Abalone Meunière,  Sole Véronique,  Crab Louie,  Trout Almondine,  Canard à l’Orange, just to mention a few…….
I did manage to find snails on two occasions on the menu, but sadly, both were but a shameful rendition of the once glorious dish (One was escargots a la Bourguignonne, which were burned on top and completely tasteless, the other was escargots in puff pastry, which was served in a soggy puff pastry shell, bound with a tasteless white sauce, deprived of even the slightest bit of the de rigueur Pernod, which is supposed to grace the sauce of escargots in cream.
So, as usual, in order to satisfy my craving, I had to prepare it myself at home. In the past, I have tried to find escargots in the grocery stores around here and sometimes scored, but in the past few years I was not able to find them anywhere anymore 😦 . Thank you Lord for the internet 🙂 . I ordered one dozen cans, which arrived a few days later and made me a happy man indeed.
Here now is the first version of Escargot I prepared…….
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Escargots A La Bourguignonne (Snails In Garlic-Herb Butter In The Style Of The Bourguignon)

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Escargots A La Bourguignonne (Snails In Garlic-Herb Butter In The Style Of The Bourguignon)

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Escargots A La Bourguignonne (Snails In Garlic-Herb Butter In The Style Of The Bourguignon)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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